Sat | Sep 18, 2021

Ancillary workers to be trained and certified

Published:Sunday | March 10, 2019 | 12:00 AMPaul Clarke/Gleaner Writer

Ancillary workers in several communities across the country will directly benefit from a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Ministry of Education and the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) to engage in HEART Trust/NTA training in literacy and numeracy, along with technical skills.

The ancillary workers were targeted from select schools within the Integrated Community Development Project (ICDP). The primary objective of the ICDP is to provide training and certification for approximately 240 ancillary workers across 40 schools.

The initiative seeks to enhance the quality of service delivery and standards established for the key cohorts of individuals who operate within schools and 18 JSIF-ICDP communities.

Education Minister Ruel Reid said the MoU was a great way of pulling together educators, workers, staff and students into a modern, more sophisticated and developed Jamaica.

“We want to encourage our employed workforce to make sure they avail themselves of the string of opportunities that are going to come to them, literally free of cost, because the HEART Trust/NTA has been set up for this purpose,” he noted.

Reid said Jamaica’s international profile would be compromised if the country’s workforce remained largely untrained and uncertified.

The project forms part of a loan agreement between the Government of Jamaica and the World Bank, which will be funded to the value of $10.8 million and will commence in April 2019 and run through March 2020.

The HEART Trust/NTA will facilitate training and certification in the areas of customer service, landscaping, sanitation and hygiene, food handling and nutrition, safety, and maintenance.

“We at JSIF are keen about investing in our communities through several worthwhile initiatives, and, of course, we see training and human-capital development as a critical avenue for significantly bridging the gap between employability and sustainability,” stated JSIF Training Coordinator Winsome Hudson Reid.

Omar Sweeney, JSIF’s managing director, said that his organisation would continue to support improvement in schools and communities.

“The professional development of schools’ ancillary workers is critical to the effective operations of the school facilities in terms of creating an environment that is more conducive to learning,” Sweeney said.

The partnership will widen access to certification to Denham Town, Tivoli Gardens, and Maxfield Park in Kingston; Retirement, St James; and Russia, Westmoreland.

paul.clarke@gleanerjm.com